Fox Promotes Ridiculous Study Of Doctors & Obamacare
By: Steve - July 12, 2012 - 10:00am

If you wanted just one piece of evidence that Fox News is a biased right-wing joke of a pretend news service, here it is. This study is so laughable and so ridiculous you will be shocked that a so-called news service even reported on it. And the fact that O'Reilly has not reported the study, is even more evidence it's so ridiculous that even O'Reilly is not quoting it.

Here are the details, the details Fox does not tell you when they report on this bogus study:

To begin with, this is a terribly conducted survey by a shady right-wing group, reported only by the Breitbart, Daily Caller, Drudge, and Fox News.

"Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama's health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association," reported the Daily Caller Monday.

What is the Doctor Patient Medical Association? The Daily Caller didn't seem too interested (beyond calling them a non-partisan association of doctors and patients) so I will have to tell you.

The Doctor Patient Medical Association's founder, Kathryn Serkes, is a long-time veteran of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a collection of crackpots that opposes mandatory vaccinations, wrongly believe undocumented immigrants spread leprosy, and dabbled in Vince Foster conspiracy theorism.

And the group is solidly conservative in its politics: It boasts membership in the National Tea Party Federation; describes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as "Destruction Of Our Medicine," or DOOM; and published a sheet of talking points about the health law to help grassroots activists beat back the so-called White House spin machine!

Does that sound like a non-partisan group you would trust to do a valid and impartial survey, of course not, and that is not what they did. They ran a joke of a biased and ridiculous FAX survey with vague questions and limited answers to rig the survey against Obama.

But what about the survey indicating that more than 80% of doctors have considered hanging up the stethoscope rather than tolerate Obamacare?

Well, the first thing to point out is that the survey didn't actually ask about the Obama Affordable Care Act. Here's the question they asked, and the results they reported:
How do current changes in the medical system affect your desire to practice medicine?

-- I'm re-energized - 4.6%
-- Makes me think about quitting - 82.6%
-- Unsure/no opinion - 12.8%
So they're just assuming every respondent, upon reading "current changes in the medical system," thought about Obamacare and nothing else?

Which does not seem too likely. And when asked to give their opinion on these undefined "changes," they were given only three options: super-excited, ready to quit, and "unsure."

What if they were just slightly dissatisfied? Or cautiously optimistic? The survey left no room for anyone who didn't hold an extreme position.

And how did they get to this unreliable sample? Let's take a look at their methodology:
The survey was conducted by fax and online from April 18 to May 22, 2012. DPMAF obtained the office fax numbers of 36,000 doctors in active clinical practice, and 16,227 faxes were successfully delivered.

Doctors were asked to return their completed surveys by fax, or online at a web address included in the faxed copy. Browser rules prevented doctors from filing duplicate surveys, and respondents were asked to provide personal identification for verification.

The response rate was 4.3% for a total of 699 completed surveys.
Yes, you read that right. They did the survey by Fax, and only 4.3% of the doctors even sent the survey back in. So let me get this straight, they say 83% of the doctors will quit based on the surverys from 4.3% of the doctors.

Now I am not a math expert, or an expert on survey data, but I do know you can not claim 83% of doctors will do anything based on a 4.3% survey rate, especially when it was taken by Fax. And this is the garbage the Daily Caller, Drudge, and Fox news are promoting.

Now think about this, the ridiculous blast-fax survey allowed respondents more than a month to answer their questions. And it seems pretty clear that of the very small percentage that did actually respond, the vast majority were ideologically sympathetic to the DPMA and had axes in need of grinding.

Which means it's a good bet the only doctors that took the survery were right-wing hacks who oppose Obamacare. But we do not know, and Fox does not tell you what political party the doctors who took the survey are in. I would bet it's 100% Republicans that took it, and most likely only the far-right loons took it, because most of the doctors did not even bother taking the ridiculous survey.

In closing, the survey question is worthless as a measure of professional medical opinion regarding the Obama Affordable Care Act. Which is likely the reason no one reported it when DPMA released it last month in June.

But then the stooges at Breitbart picked it up, followed by the Daily Caller and Drudge, leading to its inevitable appearance on Fox News Monday morning. It's an awful survey, but it served up a shocking, right-wing headline-friendly number, which is why it's driving the right-wing media's coverage of health care policy.

And if Bill O'Reilly and Bernie Goldberg were real (non-partisan Independent) journalists they would report on this survey and call it what it is, garbage and laughable. Instead they just ignore it and ignore all the right-wing media that's reporting on it.



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